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nina ong bio

Nina Ong will show you how to craft engaging cross-platform digital experiences and build a culture where collaboration, imagination, and strategic risk-taking thrive. As Vice President of Product Design at Discovery, Inc., she does just that for a beloved portfolio of brands, including Food Network, HGTV, OWN, and the flagship Discovery Channel.

Nina believes in creating immersive, joyful, and easy user experiences for every audience—whether the experience be an energizing internal initiative or differentiating consumer facing project. She has applied her human-centered design approach and team building acumen to a wide variety of pursuits, such as creating groundbreaking digital classroom products for Amplify, designing mission-critical systems for the City of New York, developing content for an Emmy-winning PBS children’s show, defining mathematical models for Wall Street, and even training to be a flying trapeze instructor.

Nina’s innovative work has been recognized by Medium, Storybench, How Magazine, the Art Director’s Club, Macromedia, the Markle Foundation, and the Center for Digital Government. She holds degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and Pratt Institute. Nina was a Visiting Scholar at Oxford University and currently teaches Design Thinking for the pioneering Journalism + Design program at The New School.

brian heck bio

Brian J. Heck is a strategic marketing director with over 20 years of experience in non-profit arts and events leadership. Over the course of his career he has honed his skills as a brand storyteller, working with multidisciplinary creative professionals to produce dynamic campaigns that highlight an organization’s unique value.

With a decade in leadership at Symphony Space and another ten years as Director of Marketing for the American Symphony Orchestra, and more recently The Orchestra Now, Brian has led teams in promoting and positioning a wide variety of events—from music and dance to theater and film—creating innovative initiatives that developed loyal audiences and resulted in sold out performances at such venues as Lincoln Center, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Symphony Space, and Carnegie Hall. 

Brian believes the key to fostering connections and enriching experiences lies in breaking down the barriers between artist and audience. It has been the guiding principle of his career, and also serves him well in his commitment to LGBTQIA+ advocacy. A long-time volunteer and leader with NYC Pride, Brian currently sits on the executive board of the mission-driven organization as the March Director, marrying his expertise in audience experience to his passion for community representation in service of equality and love.